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Lex Fridman targeted in a DeadBolt ransomware attack

The MIT researcher and host of the Lex Fridman podcast claims to have lost 50 terabytes of data due to a ransomware attack.

Fridman claims he is one of the latest victims in DeadBolt's attack on QNAP Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Threat actors claim to have found a zero-day vulnerability in QNAP NAS.

"I just got hacked. Ransomware named DeadBolt found an exploit in QNAP NAS storage devices, encrypting all files," Fridman tweeted.

Although he claims none of the locked data was essential or fresh, Fridman says the attack 'hurts a lot.'

Threat actors demand 0.03 in bitcoin from QNAP users and 50 BTC from the company for a decryption key. The demands roughly translate to $1,000 for individuals and $1.7 million for the company.

The company is aware of the problem and issued a statement claiming that DeadBolt targeted all NAS devices exposed to the internet without protection.

The company urges users to follow QNAP instructions to update the firmware to prevent threat actors from carrying out further attacks.

Fridman hosts a podcast where he discusses AI, science, technology, history, philosophy and the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love, and power. Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Joe Rogan and many others appeared on Fridman's show.

Golden age

Cyberattacks are increasing in scale, sophistication, and scope. The last 18 months were ripe with major high-profile cyberattacks, such as the SolarWinds hack, attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, meat processing company JBS, and software firm Kaseya.

Pundits talk of a ransomware gold rush, with the number of attacks increasing over 90% in the first half of 2021 alone.

The prevalence of ransomware has forced governments to take multilateral action against the threat. It's likely a combined effort allowed to push the infamous REvil and BlackMatter cartels offline and arrest the Cl0p ransomware cartel members.

Gangs, however, either rebrand or form new groups. Most recently, LockBit 2.0 was the most active ransomware group with a whopping list of 203 victims in Q3 of 2021 alone.

An average data breach costs victims $4.24 million per incident, the highest in the 17 years. For example, the average cost stood at $3.86 million per incident last year, putting recent results at a 10% increase.

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